16 Sep 2020

Pre-election fiscal update - economist Jarrod Kerr explains the numbers

From Checkpoint, 6:07 pm on 16 September 2020

On Thursday New Zealand will officially be in a recession with quarterly growth figures expected to tank.

But the Finance Minister is looking on the bright side, saying the economy is doing better than expected after the government threw open the books ahead of the election.

The Treasury update shows the economy didn't take as big a hit as expected from the lockdowns, but the picture for the medium term is more gloomy than initially predicted, due mainly to international uncertainty.

It's forecasting unemployment will almost double, the borders will remain closed until January 2022 and debt will hit 55 percent of GDP by 2024, up from 19 percent last year.

So what do all the numbers mean? Kiwibank's chief economist Jarrod Kerr explains.